Listen to the audio of Fr. Frank's homily from this service
Watch the videos of the service, including Fr. Frank's homily from the service and the bestowing of the names
See the Affirmation of Life Certificates for the babies
STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today presided over a service to give names to the 45 babies whose bodies were found in the West Philadelphia abortion clinic of accused murderer Kermit Gosnell.
“People have names, people deserve names,” Father Pavone said during the 30-minute service in the chapel of Priests for Life headquarters. “The name expresses the person. The name recognizes that there is a person there.”
But there was no such recognition for the babies whose remains were found in milk jugs, orange juice cartons and litter boxes.
“Who are these children, and whose are these children,” Father Pavone asked. “Are they medical waste or are they our brothers and sisters?”
Father Pavone said the nearly two-month-long trial, regardless of its outcome, goes to the very core of the abortion debate.
“What was not in dispute in that courtroom is that these were living children whose hearts were stopped,” he said. “Hearts were beating, and hearts were stopped.” Four of the babies were 22 weeks’ gestation or beyond, he noted, with heartbeats that could “be heard with a simple stethoscope.”
During the service, Priests for Life staffers and volunteers walked in procession to the chapel’s altar, carrying certificates with a name for each child. The babies whose deaths have been part of the trial record, Baby A through Baby G, were named first: Baby Adam, aborted at seven and a half months; Baby Michael, killed at 28 weeks; Baby Alex, breathed for 20 minutes after delivery; Baby Chris, delivered into a toilet and seen swimming there; Baby Andy, who was heard to whine, and Baby Lou, whose leg moved after being delivered.
To see the full list of names, go to www.PriestsforLife.org/library/4620-naming-the-gosnell-babies
“It is our honor to honor you with your name,” Father Pavone said after each child had been named.
The service also called for prayers and healing for the parents of the aborted children.
“Their parents may have aborted them in an episode of fear and despair… We embrace them, too. We acknowledge their humanity. They, too, are our brothers and sisters.”
These parents, he said, could benefit from a healing program like Rachel’s Vineyard, which specializes in helping post-abortive women and men.
Father Pavone has asked permission of the Philadelphia Medical Examiner to be allowed to give the babies a proper funeral and burial once the trial reaches its conclusion. That request is still pending, and the medical examiner has said it is under consideration.
Audio and video of the baby-naming service will be available at PriestsforLife.org
Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.